The 100 best horror films – contributors A-B

View the top ten lists of horror films chosen by the likes of Clive Barker and Emily Booth

Black titles are clickable and denote top 100 placing

Derek Adams

Derek Adams is a Film Writer at Time Out London and a globetrotting rock ‘n’ roll drummer. Take a look at his mullet during a 1980s appearance with Dream Academy on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and you’ll understand the true meaning of horror.

Chris Alexander

Chris Alexander is the editor-in-Chief of the world’s finest horror magazine, Fangoria.

  1. Dawn of the Dead (George A Romero, 1978)
  2. Angel Heart (Alan Parker, 1987)
  3. Nosferatu the Vampyre (Werner Herzog, 1979)
  4. Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kümel, 1970)
  5. The Devils (Ken Russell, 1971)
  6. Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009)
  7. House of Dark Shadows (Dan Curtis, 1970)
  8. Fright Night (Tom Holland, 1985)
  9. Horror of Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958)
  10. City of the Living Dead (Lucio Fulci, 1980)

‘“Dawn of the Dead” is Romero’s masterpiece. This epic and repellently gory satirical tragedy has haunted me since I first saw it at the tender age of 10. I still watch it once a month. Full of pathos, humour, great music, Tom Savini’s go-for-broke effects, bone chilling terror and kick ass action, for me, it’s not only the greatest American horror movie of all time, it’s one of the greatest American movies, full stop. Underneath its garish horror veneer, the wonderful “Daughters of Darkness”is really an elegant and perverse comedy of manners. Visually arresting, cheeky, sexual and voyeuristic, it’s my personal favourite vampire film. “Antichrist” is simply one of the most devastating movies I’ve ever endured, though one filled with typical von Trier style, poetry and subtext. Not for the faint of heart, parents, suburbanites etc. And “House of Dark Shadows” is the theatrical film version of the TV series “Dark Shadows”. Pure gothic, romantic delirium with great Dick Smith FX, amazing performances, PG-straining levels of violence and a grim, serious tone that still shocks.’

Clive Barker

Clive Barker spearheaded the renaissance of British horror with his ‘Books of Blood’ short story series and his remarkable 1987 debut as a writer-director, ‘Hellraiser’. He hasn’t directed a film since 1995’s ‘Lord of Illusions’, but his stories remain a treasure trove for horror directors, from ‘Candyman’ to the still ongoing ‘Hellraiser’ franchise.

(In no particular order)

  1. Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato, 1979)
  2. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
  3. Education for Death (Dir unknown, 1943)
  4. Ataque de Panico (Fede Alvarez, 2009)
  5. A Serbian Film (Srdjan Spasojevic, 2010)
  6. Saló (Pier Palo Pasolini, 1975)
  7. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
  8. High Tension (Alexandre Aja, 2003)
  9. Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1959)
  10. Le Sange des Betes (Georges Franju,1949)

Anne Billson

Anne Billson is a film critic, novelist and photographer. Her books include studies of John Carpenter's ‘The Thing’ and Tomas Alfredson's ‘Let the Right One In’, as well as horror novels ‘Suckers’, ‘Stiff Lips’ and ‘The Ex’.

(In chronological order)

Anton Bitel

Anton Bitel is a film critic and horror expert who has written for the likes of Sight & Sound, Little White Lies and Total Film.

  1. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
  2. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
  3. The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
  4. Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
  5. Pontypool (Bruce Mcdonald, 2008)
  6. Dark Water (Hideo Nakata, 2002)
  7. The Signal (David Bruckner, Jacob Gentry, Dan Bush, 2007)
  8. Lake Mungo (Joel Anderson, 2008)
  9. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
  10. Long Weekend (Colin Eggleston, 1978)

Michael Blyth

Michael Blyth works in the festivals department at the British Film Institute, chiefly on the annual London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. He is a gentleman of impeccable taste and breeding.

  1. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)
  2. Creepshow (George A Romero,1982)
  3. Tenebrae (Dario Argento, 1982)
  4. Candyman (Bernard Rose, 1992)
  5. Ms .45 (Abel Ferrara, 1981)
  6. Don't Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
  7. Possession (Andrzej Zulawski , 1981)
  8. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
  9. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
  10. May (Lucky McKee, 2002)

‘A top ten horror list with no Bava, Fulci, Carpenter or Cronenberg? Seems somehow inexcusable, so here's ten more that deserve a mention, if only so I can sleep at night: “Anguish” (Luna, 1987), “The Beyond” (Fulci, 1981), “The Fog” (Carpenter, 1980), “Frankenstein (James Whale, 1931)” (Whale, 1931), “Les Yeux Sans Visage” (Franju, 1960), “Onibaba” (Shindo, 1964), “Shock” (Bava, 1977), “Stagefright” (Soavi, 1987), “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (Hooper, 1974), “Videodrome” (Cronenberg, 1983).’

Emily Booth

Actress Emily Booth is best known for her roles in ‘Pervirella’, ‘Cradle of Fear’, ‘Evil Aliens’ and the BAFTA nominated short ‘Inferno’. She appeared in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriquez's ‘Grindhouse’. She is also a presenter on The Horror Channel.

Catherine Bray

Catherine Bray is a regular guest presenter on BBC Film 2012, the editor of and a member of the London Critics’ Circle. She will watch any film where a giant whatever attacks something.

‘There’s a badass monster. On a spaceship. And you’re trapped with it. It’s just so damn simple. It’s hard to explain why it works as well as it does, but “Alien” is one of those films I can’t fault on any level. Perfect. And heartbreaking but also scary is a tough mix to pull off, but Jeff Goldblum nails it in “The Fly”. David Cronenberg’s clinical approach is heaven – you feel that if Cronenberg found himself turning into a fly, this is exactly how he would handle it, documenting the disgusting detail and confusing emotions with a scientist’s objective fascination. “The Wicker Man” should not work. On paper, it’s completely ridiculous. In practice, it’s that weird thing – a charming horror movie. I would hang out with these people. They have fun. Unfortunately, “Society” just keeps getting more relevant. I suspect this film won’t rate that high up in the Time Out top 100, but the final latex extravaganza alone more than justifies it a spot.’

Jurgen Bruning

Jurgen Bruning is a German-born producer, writer and director working in the independent gay movie scene. His horror credentials include producing insane zombie flicks ‘Otto, or Up With Dead People’ and ‘LA Zombie’ for director Bruce LaBruce.

  1. Flesh for Frankenstein (Paul Morrissey, Antonio Margheriti, 1973)
  2. Nekromantik (Joerg Buttgereit, 1987)
  3. Nekromantik 2 (Joerg Buttgereit, 1991)
  4. The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)
  5. Science of Horror (Katharina Klewinghaus, 2008)
  6. Otto, or Up with Dead People (Bruce LaBruce, 2008)
  7. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
  8. From Dusk till Dawn (Robert Rodriguez, 1996)
  9. Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (FW Murnau , 1922)
  10. Blood for Dracula (Paul Morrissey, 1974)